Rudy Giuliani on Gun Control

Former Mayor of New York City; Republican Candidate for 2000 Senate (NY)


As mayor, suggested federal gun licensing

Rudy Giuliani said that his gun-control policies didn't affect hunting! But the Second Amendment isn't about hunting; it's about tyranny. The Founding Fathers weren't worried about our being able to bag a duck or a deer; they were worried about us being able to keep our fundamental freedoms.

Rudy tried to finesse the issue of gun control by saying it should "be resolved on a state-by-state basis" and that when he was mayor, he always said, "It's one thing for New York, it's something different for Texas." But Second Amendment rights belong to individuals, not to states or cities. You don't gain or lose Second Amendment rights when you change your address. And even more important, that's not really what he said when he was mayor. Back then he said, "We need a federal law that bans all assault weapons. The United States Congress needs to pass uniform licensing for everyone carrying a gun." That, folks, is national gun control--the same for New York and Texas.

Source: Do The Right Thing, by Mike Huckabee, p. 15 , Nov 18, 2008

Government can impose reasonable regulations on guns

Q: Why do you believe that citizens should be required to pass an exam in order to exercise their right to protect themselves and their families?

A: We have to be very aggressive about enforcing the gun laws that exist. The Second Amendment gives people an individual right to keep and to bear arms; however, [the] Government can impose reasonable regulations.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida , Nov 28, 2007

Focus on criminals, not on guns

Q: What about letting college students carry weapons?

A: I think states have a right to decide that. We have a federal system. We allow states to make different decisions. The focus of our laws should be on criminals. That’s what I did in New York City

Source: 2007 GOP debate at UNH, sponsored by Fox News , Sep 5, 2007

NYC gun control laws made NYC safest big city in US

Q: Some gunowners say they never felt safe in your city because of its gun control laws. What do you have to say to them?

A: I would say to them the FBI would disagree with that. New York City was, during the years that I was mayor, the safest large city in the United States. For example, in Boston, there was a 59% greater chance you’d be the victim of a crime than in New York City. In many other cities, there was 100% to 300% greater chance that you’d be a victim of a crime than in New York City. One of the things I accomplished as mayor of New York City was the impossible. I took a city that was the crime capital of America, and I made it not only the safest large city in America, I made it safer than 189 small cities. So, I mean, people have their right to their own feelings. The reality is, you were safer in New York than just about any other city in the United States after I was mayor for about three or four years.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at UNH, sponsored by Fox News , Sep 5, 2007

2nd Amendment gives people the individual right to bear arms

I’m a strict constructionist, or I try to be. The Second Amendment is about as clear as it can be. It gives people the individual right to bear arms. I agree with that. I think that is a correct interpretation. That means that any restrictions have to be reasonable. And those restrictions largely have to do with criminal background, background of mental illness, and they should basically be done on the state-by-state level. And that’s the guidelines that I would use in dealing with it as president.
Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews , May 14, 2007

Supported nationwide licensing & assault weapons ban

Q: One of the raps against you is that as mayor you did things that pleased your city but that weren’t necessarily good for the nation. Case in point: Gun control. You now say that what works in New York doesn’t necessarily work in Montana. But as mayor, you supported the nationwide Clinton assault weapons ban. You supported nationwide federal licensing. And you actually joined a lawsuit to make gun manufacturers liable if someone used their gun to shoot somebody.

A: I did everything I could as mayor o New York City to reduce crime. And the strategy against guns, both civil and criminal, was very aggressive.

Q: But that wasn’t just tough in New York City, it was tough around the nation.

A: But so was the strategy I utilized in New York City on everything. I was criticized for being too aggressive about the enforcement of the laws, including the gun laws. But the reality is I began with the city that was the crime capital of America. When I left, it was the safest large city in America.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews , May 14, 2007

Things you do in NY about guns may be different than TX

Q: As mayor, you supported the nationwide Clinton assault weapons ban, & you supported nationwide federal licensing.

A: The quote that I have from the time I was mayor is that the conditions in New York and the things you do in New York about guns may be different than Texas. And the reality is I’ve always looked at it that way.

Q: But at the time you said, in fact, that weak gun laws in other states might actually end up producing guns on the streets of New York, so you needed nationwide laws.

Q: What we were doing was using civil remedies to try to help New York, as well as using criminal remedies to help New York. The reality is as mayor of New York, I looked to do all the things that I could do to protect the people of my city.

Q: And as president?

A: As president, my interest is going to be how to protect the people of the United States of America. When I take that oath of office, it’ll be real clear to me who the people I have to protect are.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews , May 14, 2007

Gun control reduces urban crime; no effect on hunting

Rudy Giuliani addressed a potentially troublesome issue with conservative voters, saying his policies as mayor to get handguns off the street helped reduce crime in New York. “I used gun control as mayor,” he said at a news conference, “but I understand the Second Amendment. I understand the right to bear arms.” He said what he did as mayor would have no effect on hunting.
Source: The Associated Press on WHDH.com , Feb 11, 2007

NYC sued two dozen major gun manufacturers and distributors

On June 20th [2000], I was pleased to announce that the City of New York filed a lawsuit against two dozen major gun manufacturers and distributors. This is an industry which profits from the suffering of innocent people. The lawsuit is intended to end the free pass that the gun industry has enjoyed for a very long time, which has resulted in too many avoidable deaths.
Source: NYC.gov press release, “Lawsuit” , Jun 26, 2000

All gun owners should pass written test

I do not think the government should cut off the right to bear arms. My position for many years has been that just as a motorist must have a license, a gun owner should be required to have one as well. Anyone wanting to own a gun should have to pass a written exam that shows that they know how to use a gun, that they’re intelligent enough and responsible enough to handle a gun. Should both handgun and rifle owners be licensed...we’re talking about all dangerous weapons.
Source: Boston Globe on 2000 race, p. A4 , Mar 21, 2000

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Other big-city mayors on Gun Control: Rudy Giuliani on other issues:

Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee)
Bill de Blasio (D,NYC)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Bob Filner (D,San Diego)
Steven Fulop (D,Jersey City)
Eric Garcetti (D,Los Angeles)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Marty Walsh (D,Boston)

Former Mayors:
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)
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Page last updated: Mar 26, 2021